Archive for May, 2011

Black Mold Madness

May 31, 2011

So I spent the entire Memorial Day weekend helping someone with a remodel of an old home. Three straight days of hard work in 90 degree heat and 90 per cent humidity was enough to taint my mood but then, on the Holiday itself, there came the task of ripping up 40 year-old orange and brown shag carpet from a “finished basement”. Well, if the smell alone down there hadn’t already convinced me there was something unpleasantly wrong with the situation the sight of giant swaths of black fungus underneath the carpet and all through the foam cushion was the fucking alarm bell ringing confirmation.

Mold. Black Mold. Shitloads.

I was horrified, of course, that we had been breathing the corrupted air in there for three days. I knew full well the possible damage that stuff can do to a person. From the short term effects like headaches, congestion and rash to the long term effects like permanent neurological damage.

Then I realized an even more horrifying truth.

This is how zombies are created.

I know it. This is how it starts. The fungus gets inside you and the next thing you know you’re searching recipe sites for “how to cook human brains”.

I just have a bad feeling about this. I’m worried that later tonight I’m going to be crawling through my neighbors windows, a viscous black ooze leaking out of my nostrils and ears and mouth, face ravaged by rot and a rancid black mold actively growing out of every bodily orifice. I’m coming to eat your babies, people, but it’s not my fault I swear. I’m probably going to crack open your skulls with a table leg to gnaw on your gray matter. I’m might even chew off your grandmother’s tits. I don’t know! I might!

This is horrible. I never wanted to be a zombie at all, I swear. Let alone a baby eating, grandmother defiling Black Mold Zombie From Hell.

This is what I get for helping people. From now on I’m staying in my Zombie Proof Bunker. I have soup. I have grain alcohol. I have porn.

Who needs brains anyway?

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Winds of Change

May 23, 2011

A few minor changes have occurred here in the world of Ken Socrates and the Multi-Media Behemoth that is the Ken Socrates World News Organization and I feel like it’s only fair to let you, my small yet obsessively devoted audience, in on some of the details. I won’t bore you completely with all the legal wranglings behind all this, as certain court orders prohibit me saying too much, but suffice to say that in future conversations about Gorman Moloko, current Managing Editor of the KSWNO, I will be referring to him solely as either a) a salty feminine hygeine product or b) the malodorous result of a woman not using said product.

In any case, you may want to adjust your bookmarks as follows.

My little personal site here has now become kensocrates.com. I feel like this works better as those few of you interested in the more personal ramblings and disjointed opinions I might have can more easily seek me out here without all the restrictive editorial filterings of a power hungry control freak manboy (whosoever that might be).

Meanwhile, the former kensocrates.com has become the KSWNO.com, home site and archive for the Ken Socrates World News Organization. I’m told by Gorman that the site will be run in a more magazine style format and exist as a well organized repository for the writings of myself and the dynamic pantheon of talent who have contributed mightily to the organization’s success over the years.

Including:

    Horatio Von Darkfaulker

    Stamford Buckforth Pimplton III

    Joe Hawaii & Gaylord “Ra” Fondue

    Chippy McGuiness

    Dwight Cooter

    Willie T. Sherman

    Ozzy McGurt, of course, maintains his own site over at nocandyasses.com.

So, yeah, adjust those bookmarks accordingly and if you need to reach me, my new public corporate e-mail is ken@kswno.com. Feel free to shoot me a note if there’s any confusion or you want the real dirt about this whole thing. Gorman may have the edge on me in terms of a crisper memory and certain photo evidence but I know a few secrets myself. Grown men who play with action figures are not without skeletons in their own closets, trust me.

Personally, I think he’s just pissed that it was me who got invited to This Whovian Life and not him.

How do you like me now, fucker?

Cerebus 3D

May 15, 2011

cerebus 3d

Here’s an ambitious project. I was surprised recently to find out, via twitter, that these boys were still in business and quite impressed by the sheer bloody-mindedness that is driving their production. The market for a 3D animated Cerebus film be utterly non-existent by the standards of even the smallest of independent films. No, this seems to be a genuine labour of love by one Oliver Simonsen, quite obviously as dedicated a Cerebus fan as might exist. I fully admit, after seeing their beginnings a while back, I doubted they would be able to sustain the effort but I was completely, and now quite happily, wrong as hell.

Those of you who know me, know of my own admiration of Dave Sim’s masterwork, itself a testiment to sheer bloody-mindedness. A 300 issue epic that took nearly three decades to produce, the entirety of it written by Sim and illustrated by he and his longtime artistic partner Gerhard, who produced some of the most amazingly detailed pen and ink backgrounds that the world of comics art has ever seen.

You have to admire Simonsen’s talent and effort, as witnessed in the teaser below.

Is that not a bit drool-worthy for an old school Cerebus fan? He’s got the expressions down. The voice of Elrod, the animation of Lord Julius. Obviously they remember Sim’s contention that Cerebus’ voice would sound like George C. Scott, as well. It’s just great fun to see that all come to life.

He’s come this far, so it’s likely he’ll see this through and I, for one, cannot wait to see the final results. Any of you interested, be sure to let Oliver know that his work is appreciated. Keep it up, sir.

More info here and here.

Also online these days is CerebusTV, a streaming broadcast about all things Aardvark, which lists Sim himself as an executive producer. New episodes, of which there are now 50 or so, are featured each Friday at 10 pm.

Panels #1

May 7, 2011

An ongoing feature in which I present assorted panels from recent comics that get my attention for one reason or another.

Batman, Inc. #3

Writer: Grant Morrison Artist: Yanick Paquette

batman inc 02

It’s not often you get to see children in wheelchairs exploding into the air so enjoy it this one time courtesy of Mr. Morrison’s twisted mind and Paquette’s crisp artwork. The first few issues of this series have been excellent and the concept is interesting enough to have some legs, I think. There’s never a shortage in Morrison’s mind of new and interesting global heroes to pluck from the vine and truly fuck with and his Batman scripts have yet to get the slightest bit stale.

Nonplayer #1

Writer and Artist: Nate Simpson

Not much I can say about this one other than look at it. It’s some of the more delicious visuals I have seen in a comic in a long, long time. I’m not alone in my admiration as such accomplished artists as Frank Quietly and even Moebius himself have lauded what Nate Simpson, formerly a video game conceptual artist, has produced in the first issue of this series. Go here for more info. Click on the above panel and see it in full sized glory and just enjoy it.

Wolverine The Best There Is #2

Writer: Charlie Huston Artist: Juan Jose Ryp

wolverine best there is 002

Another visual feast for you to click on and devour in full size, this time from longtime favorite artist Juan Jose Ryp. Came to know and love him from his work with Warren Ellis on Black Summer and No Hero and he doesn’t hold back anything from his visceral, detailed style when being unleashed upon the X-Universe in this Wolverine story. If you think this image is graphic just pick up the book and start reading. After you’ve had your lunch, if you’re the queasy sort.

Neonomicon #3

Writer: Alan Moore Artist: Jacen Burrows

neonomicon 003

Perhaps I should have titled this entire first installment of Panels “Not For The Squeamish”. Jacen Burrows’ cover for the third issue of Alan Moore’s Neonomicon from Avatar Press is an atmospheric preview of the astonishing Lovecraftian horror that awaits the reader inside the issue. Brings the term “beastiality” to a whole new level.

Space Is Gonna Do Me Good

May 3, 2011

frank black pixies

This man is a hero of mine.

What does that say about me? Well, I don’t count too many people in that category. I don’t like the term “idol” very much and the notion of any sort of worship whatsoever makes me cringe.

However, there are certain folks I just admire. I like what they do and, more so, I like the way they do it. Amongst that fairly short list of writers and artists of various sorts is a type of person with a rare glint in their eye. Something teetering right on the edge of a particular type of madness; particular meaning their very own brand. Impossible to ape, sometimes impossible to even understand. These are folks who not only don’t run with the herd, they can’t even see the dust from the herd on the hazy horizon. They walk alone on a distant world and we are mere observers of theirs with occasional interaction and appreciation of their arts.

Frank Black is one of those folks. So was Andy Kaufman. Hunter Thompson. Alan Moore. Michael Allen. Graham Chapman.

There are others I could name but they belong on a different list, I think. For whatever reason, they possess varying degrees of humanity and a vision more easily understood. Douglas Adams and Bill Hicks, both geniuses I adore, were trying to get us to see our own world more clearly rather than open a window into an entire other one. Same for many others, in a myriad of different ways, of course.

But it’s the crazy ones I love the most. Stark personalities so unlike anyone or anything you’ve experienced. Fiery beacons of intelligence and individuality who walk amongst us without a care as to what anyone might think of them.

Brackish boys.

The Dreaming Press

May 2, 2011

the wolfgang press

I had some amazingly vivid dreams last night. I don’t think that’s odd but what is odd is that I can remember some of them this morning. That doesn’t usually happen. It was a strange concoction, some of it quite emotional. There were alien invasions to be fought off. Claustraphobia on an overpacked bus. Dramatic reunions with loved ones thought lost. Dog heroics. Like Steven Spielberg and Edgar Wright got high together and plotted some Saturday afternoon serials.

One dream, however, stood out from the rest. It’s something that is a recurring theme for me in slumbertime theatre. When I find some long lost release from on of my favorite bands that I didn’t know existed, unearthing an entire album of rare, hiddens musical gems. This one was good.

I dig out my vinyl copy of The Wolfgang Press’ Standing Up Straight to give it a listen. I do actually own a large portion of 4AD’s entire mid eighties catalogue on vinyl. Vaughan Oliver and 23 Envelope’s design work on those covers, as well as the astonishing collection of music the label was producing at the time, made so much of it essential to own on that large format. Some of the artwork is so stunning and perfect I have it framed on my walls as decor. Anyway, in the dream, I put on side B of Standing and the low tones of “I Am The Crime” begin.

Only that’s not what I hear. It quickly transitions into some dramatic, ominous spoken word thing from Michael Allen, recorded live at some obscure darkened theatre. Intense, foreboding and emotional. Allen is angry and has something to say. I look at the album again and realize that this copy of the album I bought is actually a rare collection of songs from that era, like a limited release from 4AD at the time (1986 or so). I am overjoyed to discover this, fascinated. The side I’m listening to has spoken word performance art from Allen and the band, accompanying him with minimalist atmospherics. The other is demos and alternate mixes and a few outright unreleased recordings from the Standing Up Straight sessions. I’m blown away and fall into a delerium of mid eighties post-punk bliss.

I wish I could remember the song titles or the words of that first poem. They were really bizarre and seemingly profound. My memory is not that detailed. The feeling of it, however, is wonderful and it’s one I’ve experienced many, many times in dreams. Finding an undiscovered treasure from the 4AD catalogue in a used record store. Hearing over the speakers an entire album of Cocteau Twins songs unearthed from 1985 or something. I always wake up wanting it to be true so badly it hurts.

Time to break out some vinyl, I think.